The extent of functionality in the human genome View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle      Open Access: True


Article Info

DATE

2013-12

AUTHORS

John S Mattick, Marcel E Dinger

ABSTRACT

Recently articles have been published disputing the main finding of the ENCODE project that the majority of the human genome exhibits biochemical indices of function, based primarily on low sequence conservation and the existence of larger genomes in some ostensibly simpler organisms (the C-value enigma), indicating the likely presence of significant amounts of junk. Here we challenge these arguments, showing that conservation is a relative measure based on circular assumptions of the non-functionality of transposon-derived sequences and uncertain comparison sets, and that regulatory sequence evolution is subject to different and much more plastic structure-function constraints than protein-coding sequences, as well as positive selection for adaptive radiation. We also show that polyploidy accounts for the higher than expected genome sizes in some eukaryotes, compounded by variable levels of repetitive sequences of unknown significance. We argue that the extent of precise dynamic and differential cell- and tissue-specific transcription and splicing observed from the majority of the human genome is a more reliable indicator of genetic function than conservation, although the unexpectedly large amount of regulatory RNA presents a conceptual challenge to the traditional protein-centric view of human genetic programming. Finally, we suggest that resistance to these findings is further motivated in some quarters by the use of the dubious concept of junk DNA as evidence against intelligent design. More... »

PAGES

2

Journal

TITLE

The HUGO Journal

ISSUE

1

VOLUME

7

Author Affiliations

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1186/1877-6566-7-2

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1877-6566-7-2

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1028682059


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